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Solar STAT Blog

This blog discusses state and local efforts to develop solar markets in the United States. With support from the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, members of NREL's Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) author posts related to events, solar policy analysis, and technical assistance outcomes for the purpose of informing the market in a credible and timely fashion.

Solar Access: Issues and Policy Options

June 06, 2017 by Alison Holm

Distributed solar capacity in the United States is on the rise: approximately 2,580 megawatts (MW) of new residential solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was brought online in 2016, and installed capacity increased more than 50% every year between 2012 and 2015. Continue reading

SolSmart Launches to Support Local Governments

May 04, 2016 by Erin Nobler

As a member of the Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) network, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides direct technical assistance to state and local governments on challenges that require solar market expertise. STAT is proud to support other programs that have the same goal, so it’s exciting to see the launch of the SolSmart program. Continue reading

A Western Perspective on the Clean Power Plan

October 19, 2015 by Jeffrey J. Cook

After the Labor Day weekend, state air quality officials, energy office personnel, utility commissioners, utilities, and a host of other western regional stakeholders converged in Denver, Colorado for a workshop on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan (CPP) hosted by Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE). The goal of the workshop and previous workshops convened by CNEE, was to build a common understanding among western regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders around the CPP and critical issues that states will face in thinking through compliance. Continue reading

New Regulations, New Technology, and a New Grid? Takeaways from the 2015 NASEO Annual Meeting

October 02, 2015 by Alexandra Aznar

Sunny San Diego welcomed state energy officials and their affiliates to the 2015 National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) annual meeting September 13-16. The theme was “Interconnected: Smart Energy Policies, Clean Energy Investments, and the Cloud.” As an affiliate, I had the opportunity to share information about state and local clean energy  policies as well as the types of technical assistance the Solar Technical Assistance Team  (STAT) provides to state-level decision makers.  Several themes emerged from the whirlwind of presentations, discussions, and one-on-one conversations with participants. Continue reading

Solar Energy Improving Resiliency: A Look at California During a Historical Drought

August 19, 2015 by Alexandra Aznar

In February, the Solar STAT blog featured a post on 2012’s Hurricane Sandy and  how solar PV can support disaster resiliency . Extreme weather events are not limited to hurricanes, of course. Others, like California’s ongoing drought, pose additional challenges for electricity generators but also demonstrate an emerging role for solar energy. Continue reading

Solar Technical Assistance in Action: Delaware's Inverter Story

January 30, 2015 by Sherry Stout

Under U.S. law, individual states can evaluate and modify interconnection and net metering policies and regulations based on changes in technology. Due to the increasing complexity of new photovoltaic (PV) technologies, one of the most popular requests received by NREL's Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) is for help with understanding and evaluating solar interconnection and net metering policy options. Continue reading

PV Interconnection Issues: Are You the 15%?

October 29, 2014 by Sherry Stout

According to projections from Green Tech Media, a new distributed photovoltaic (PV) system will be installed in the United States roughly every 80 seconds by the year 2016, making interconnection-related concerns and innovations a top priority. A streamlined interconnection process is needed to keep pace with this expected growth in demand for solar energy systems. Ultimately, both utilities and consumers can benefit from reduced solar project timeframes and costs. Continue reading

Hot Topics: Solar Interconnection Policy

October 07, 2014 by Alexis Powers, Erin Nobler, John De La Rosa, Sherry Stout

This STAT Chat podcast features Kristen Ardani, a solar technology markets and policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussing the PV interconnection process as part of our Hot Topics series. Continue reading